The second season of “The Challenge,” a British Council Education initiative promoting the UK as a destination for personal development was launched in Accra today with the choice of 12 contestants who would vie for prizes in scholarship and other personal development programmes worth more than £100,000.
“The Challenge” is a reality educational television programme where contestants who are young university graduates are taken through a combination of aptitude and mental tests, demonstrations of academic excellence, leadership competencies as well as character and creativity exercises.
A selection is then made to select the best three who will win prizes that include postgraduate studies at prestigious universities in the UK, and opportunities for employment in organisations in the UK and Ghana.
For the second season of the reality show, three thousand applications were received and out of the number one thousand young university graduates underwent aptitude tests, interviews and group debates for the selection of 24 semi-finalists.
The 12 finalists selected from the 24 comprised of seven females and five males and they will be adjudged by a 3-member scholarship committee, called “The Board” made up of renowned business leaders.
The 12 finalists are Akosua Gyan, Anastacia Arko, Araba Abakah-Turkson, Sandra Barimah, Samia Dane-Selby, Maliha Abubakari, Dorinda Quarshie, Joseph Opuku, Micheal Quaye, Emmanual Sackey, Enock Quaye and William Offei.
The Board, based on set criteria will nominate three contestants to be evicted over a twelve week period and five top contestants will contest in a grand finale to determine the winner of the grand prize of a full board postgraduate scholarship from the University of Westminster with a total value of £40,000, fully paid accommodation at an international students’ hostel, a monthly allowance and a return air ticket to the UK valid for a year as well as a new laptop computer.
On completion of the post-graduate course, the ultimate winner will return to Ghana to pick up a pre-arranged lucrative job placement and a car.
The two runner ups will receive a one-year post graduate scholarships and accommodation from London Metropolitan and Thames Valley Universities while a third runner up will revive scholarships from PMC to study for post-graduate ICT related programme administered jointly by IPC and the Greenwich University.
The Challenge will begin airing on GTV from March 1, 2009 and will be a weekly reality programme where the progress of the contestants will be tracked on life TV as they contest in several tasks.
At the launch, several eminent personalities commended the British Council, its partners and sponsors of the show, including the Westminster, London Metropolitan and Thames Valley universities of London, TiGO, Stratcom Africa, United Bank of Africa Ghana Limited (UBA), IPMC and several others.
The new minister for Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, highly commended the link that The Challenge sought to make between education and employment and asked other corporate organisations to follow the example and by that help government’s efforts at youth employment, while the British High Commissioner, Mr Nicholas Wescot, encouraged the finalists to endeavour to become the best even as a team of contestants.
“The best of the best are often those who work best with others,” he told them.
The Director of British Council, Mr Moses Anibaba, said The Challenge had won the British Council’s most innovative and creative programme award, while it had been aired on DSTV.
DAILY GRAPHIC, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009, PG 24